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May possibly buy a mini farm next year and would love some advice.

Posted by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM
  • 45 Replies

This isn't exactly an hs question, but I know quite a few of you ladies have farms, and those do have direct hs benefits.  :)

We're currently wrapping up the last of the updates to our home.  We've been talking for years about moving where we would have five or more acres, and it seems like a much better & easier option now that both of our daughters are homeschooled.  It would be so nice to have a huge garden, our own animals, and participate in 4H.

Sorry this is so broad a question, but what should we think of?  We'd love to have two or more wool-bearing animals (we've been 'spinning' our own yarn with a drop spindle).  Initially we were thinking of sheep but llamas are incredibly soft and seem brighter too. 

Can chickens be kept in a coop with a big fenced yard area?  My SIL's are loose, but I'd like to keep the areas by the trampoline & play set clean.  Do you have to have a rooster?

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction!

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM
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Replies (1-10):
kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 28, 2013 at 9:20 PM
1 mom liked this
That is an awesome idea! We used to have a 10 acre piece of land and raised about 200 chickens, some rabbits and some cats and a dog. We were thinking of raising a goat or two and maybe a cow but we didn't get an opportunity to. If we ever do get another opportunity to do it ahain, we will jump on it faster than you can blink. lol
You only need a rooster if you plan on breeding. Now, how self-sustaining are you wanting to be?
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 9:21 PM
2 moms liked this

 Oh Cool!! 

We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).

We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.

If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL

Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.

Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 

Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.

Any other specific questions?

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM

That had to have been fun!  Where did you sell the eggs, or did you raise the chickens for meat?  

At first probably not super self-sustaining, but I'd like to add to that as we get the hang of things.  Definitely a huge garden so we have enough tomatoes and green beans to can for the winter.  I'd like to have enough chickens not to buy eggs.  We use about a dozen each week.  Do they usually lay one a day?  Does that only last a few years?

Quoting kirbymom:

That is an awesome idea! We used to have a 10 acre piece of land and raised about 200 chickens, some rabbits and some cats and a dog. We were thinking of raising a goat or two and maybe a cow but we didn't get an opportunity to. If we ever do get another opportunity to do it ahain, we will jump on it faster than you can blink. lol
You only need a rooster if you plan on breeding. Now, how self-sustaining are you wanting to be?


TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Thank you so much for all of that information!  I would never have thought to ask about the well or shots.  We're just one state away but I know the deer here have all kinds of illnesses so we'd probably need some Ohio shots. :)

Those are some cool-looking goats!  Do you drink their milk?  Do you have to buy milk other than that?  My SIL had those big goats, and they kept getting loose because they'd open the gates.  They were smart.  Are yours like that too?  They also bought a pasteurizer, but never used it.  I may be able to buy it cheap. :)  How much land do you think a person would need for four goats or two goats/two sheep and a handful of chickens?

Those Cochins look nice.  Would you have or not have a rooster?  My SIL said hers crows all during the night, with no snooze button. :)  They had one that was incredibly nice, and another that wasn't.  That's too funny about the soup, supper, etc.  I'm sure they didn't realize that's where they were headed!

Thanks for the orchard idea!  We planted five apple trees two years ago and finally had one apple off each.  That would be awesome to find a place with enough trees to have all of our own apples (especially without all of the chemicals).  

Sorry for all of the questions.  My girls and I have been discussing it for years, but DH is the one who has been pointing out all of the farms around here that are for sale.  :) 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Oh Cool!! 

We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).

We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.

If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL

Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.

Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 

Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.

Any other specific questions?


paganbaby
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM
1 mom liked this

I want to do this so bad!!!

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Have you guys ever thought about it?  


Quoting paganbaby:

I want to do this so bad!!!


paganbaby
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:58 AM
2 moms liked this

We don't have the money and a sustainable farm is dh's idea of hell,lol. A girl can still dream though...

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Have you guys ever thought about it?  


Quoting paganbaby:

I want to do this so bad!!!



Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM
1 mom liked this

LOL, I can think of way worse things!  Maybe one day.  Dreams are good.  :)

Quoting paganbaby:

We don't have the money and a sustainable farm is dh's idea of hell,lol. A girl can still dream though...

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Have you guys ever thought about it?  


Quoting paganbaby:

I want to do this so bad!!!




bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM
1 mom liked this

 I'm going to try to imbed my answers to make sure I answer all those questions!  :-)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Thank you so much for all of that information!  I would never have thought to ask about the well or shots.  We're just one state away but I know the deer here have all kinds of illnesses so we'd probably need some Ohio shots. :)

Those are some cool-looking goats!  Do you drink their milk?  Do you have to buy milk other than that? Yes we drink their milk and make cheeses: fromage blanc, mozarella, ricotta, and yogurts too.  We have 5.7 acres and 9 goats (at the moment).  NDs (Nigerian Dwarfs) can come into heat 2 times/year, so we try to have babies in January and Late July.  They give milk (enough) for four months between kiddings.  We do supplement their milk with some store bought.  When 4 or 5 of them are all milking we are drowning in milk, but during the point where they are still giving to their kids and are pregnant we let them be to give them more strangth. My SIL had those big goats, and they kept getting loose because they'd open the gates.  They were smart.  Are yours like that too? Yes, ours stay on our property without fencing though when they do get out.  There is just plenty to eat here, so they would rather stay close for safety. They also bought a pasteurizer, but never used it.  I may be able to buy it cheap. :)  How much land do you think a person would need for four goats or two goats/two sheep and a handful of chickens? Remember that goats multiply very, very fast.  So 2/3 goats turns into 9/10 very quickly.  I've heard that you can get away with 2 acres with 4 goats and a handful of chickens, but you don't get much of a yard.  5 acres suits us pretty well although we are now talking about buying a couple more acres next to us and getting a horse.  So remember also that you just keep wanting to expand your livestock.  We are certainly getting turkeys and a pig this coming spring and bees and rabbits the following spring!  LOL

Those Cochins look nice.  Would you have or not have a rooster?  My SIL said hers crows all during the night, with no snooze button. :)  They had one that was incredibly nice, and another that wasn't.  That's too funny about the soup, supper, etc.  I'm sure they didn't realize that's where they were headed!  If you want the flock to keep itself up, then a rooster is necessary.  If you are okay with buying peeps every few years, then it's not necessary.  Ours only crowed during the day.  He wanted everyone quiet at night.  Our chickens were smarter and better able to take care of themselves with the rooster around.  He made them roost up high each night, now they stay on the bottom few rungs in their coop which makes them easier pickings for predators.  He was also always on watch and would use strange trills to tell them when to get under cover.  He was very helpful when his hens had babies, they would be alerted to hawks and get their broods under cover.  So they are very useful, but they can be temperamental or down-right mean!

Thanks for the orchard idea!  We planted five apple trees two years ago and finally had one apple off each.  That would be awesome to find a place with enough trees to have all of our own apples (especially without all of the chemicals).  

Sorry for all of the questions.  Happy to help!  I floundered our first few years, so I really love answering questions, makes me feel like I've learned something!  :-)My girls and I have been discussing it for years, but DH is the one who has been pointing out all of the farms around here that are for sale.  :) 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Oh Cool!! 

We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).

We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.

If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL

Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.

Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 

Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.

Any other specific questions?


 

snowangel1979
by Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 12:29 PM
1 mom liked this
Kinda look into the chickens before you get them. We have Americans and isa browns and black somethings. While the isa browns do o.k. in the pen the Americanas stopped laying (they lay blue, green or other color eggs.) The Americana's also climb the fence when you clip their wings. LOL. We had to cage our because even though they could go any other direction and its nothing but feilds or the person doesn't care, they wanted to tear up the people across the streets flower beds. LOL.
If your keeping them in a big fenced in area you'll probably still need to clip their wings. It's easy. (only do one wing though. LOL)

Have you looked into suri alpacas. They have wonderful wool. A women around the corner from us has them and DH wants to get some really bad. LOL. She said the only thing she gives them is a wormer once in a while because of the deer.

We have over 5 acres but It's long. Hopefully we are looking into getting like 80 one day. You'll also need to look into how many animals you can have per-acre. I think ours is something like 2 animals per acre depending on the animal and you have to have over 5 acres, ect,ect. LOL.
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